Election Recycling: I'm Going to Fight Booze Edition

whos a winner im a winner Iraq was hot potato at first debate. Kerry: "We can win in Iraq, but I don't believe this president can." Bush: "If we lose our will we lose, but if we remain strong and resolute, we will defeat this enemy." [WP, NYT, USAT, LAT, WSJ, BG]


Candidates disagree on nearly every aspect of Iraq; both achieved many goals. [WP, NYT, LAT]

Bush: Stick to "what you believe in your core, in your heart of hearts." Kerry: "It's one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and be wrong." [NYT, BG, BG]

Bush appears tense and even sighs during criticism; Kerry "ramrod" but "nodding hungrily at each question." [NYT]

No major factual errors, but many misleading statements. [WP, USAT, LAT]

Candidates remained on scripts. [NYT]

Many undecideds praise Kerry. In overnight poll of 615, 53% say Kerry outperformed Bush. [NYT, USAT, USAT, LAT, LAT]

"Safer" was last night's key word. [USAT]

Candidates agree on importance of fatherhood while projecting warm, educated father image. [LAT, LAT]

Pundits surprised by Kerry's strong performance. Dick Morris: "Of the 45 minutes when Bush spoke, there were 20 or 25 minutes when he wasn't even there." [LAT, WSJ, BG]

September brought nearly 2,700 attacks against American forces in Iraq, the highest yet. [NYT]

House strikes down ban of gay marriage. [WP]

"Security moms" illusive; concern about terrorism, Iraq crosses genders. [WP]

Bush tours hurricane damage: "Did you get hit pretty hard?" Political opportunity seen. Rove: "We're flying sort of blind. Since August 13, we've not been able to get consistent polling." [NYT, LAT]

Campaigns galvanize supporters with rapid web response to debates. [WSJ]

FEC has yet to determine how campaigns may pay for recounts. [NYT]

Pentagon, learning from mistakes in 2000, works aggressively on voter education. [WP]

Lehrer blended into background. [USAT]

"Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry" raises meta question: "Will the war in Iraq produce the next John Kerry?" [NYT]

Foreign reporters get in the way on the trail. Richard Wolffe: "They come here and they think they're a big deal. And it's an incredible shock to their system to find out that Washington doesn't give a [expletive] about them." [WP]

Prohibition Party candidate: "I'm going to fight booze until hell freezes over, and then I'm going to buy a pair of ice skates and fight it some more." [NYT]

[REUTERS/Brian Snyder]

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